With the new Timeline being implemented, another hoax is spreading misinformation and confusion among Facebook users. The following message has gone viral and is showing up on Newsfeeds everywhere:
“With the new ‘FB timeline’ on its way this week for EVERYONE…please do both of us a favor: Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you’ll see a box that says “Subscribed.” Hover over that, then go to “Comments and Likes” and “Games” and un-click it. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the side bar(ticker) for everyone to see, but MOST IMPORTANTLY it LIMITS HACKERS from invading our profiles. If you re-post this I will do the same for you. You’ll know I’ve acknowledged you because if you tell me that you’ve done it I’ll ‘like’ it. Thanks”
Sadly, this won’t do anything to protect you from hackers or improve your privacy. A very similar message was circulated when the Facebook ticker was introduced back in September. It caused quite a stir at the time, and it took a day or so for bloggers and social media gurus to get it all sorted out. If you are interested in reading why the message doesn’t work, then we recommend you read this post from our friends at Sophos.
To make a long and confusion story very short, the information in the message is erroneous. The best thing you can do to protect your privacy and that of your friends is to set all of your privacy and sharing settings to ‘friends only.’ Also advise your friends to do the same.
Spreading false information doesn’t really help anyone, and it can give your friends a false sense of security. Always spend a few minutes and check the facts before passing warnings along to your friends.
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